During the week before the festival, Busara Promotions works in partnership with Zanzibar’s Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) to provide an opportunity for musicians of different backgrounds to come together.
The invited musicians explore common ground and differences. As their contributions fuse, something special is born. The main idea is to work together in creating some new compositions (or new interpretations of traditional Swahili songs), which are later performed on the main stage of the festival. The end result is not so important as the process.
Participants from around East Africa rarely have such opportunities to meet and learn from one another, and always ask for more. In fact, most musicians who have participated in previous Swahili Encounters report this as their personal highlight of the whole festival experience.